2013 PMA@CES Wrap-up : Heard on the Show Floor—Dealers’ PerspectivesJanuary 2013 By Jason Schneider
District Manager, Bedford Camera & Video
Established back in 1974, Bedford Camera & Video has steadily grown and is now a six-store enterprise with locations in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Little Rock, North Little Rock and Rogers, Arkansas, and their newest store recently opened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The non-store head office is in Springdale, Arkansas (home of the original store), around 10 miles from Fayetteville and Rogers. Bedford, a member of PRO, serves a diversified customer base of family shooters and prosumers, and a smaller number of pros.
“What sets us apart is that we provide added value to our consumers,” said Austin Pittman. “We offer free classes to people who buy cameras and paid classes on subjects ranging from Intro to Photography 1 and 2, a crash course in Point & Shoot, plus Macro, Photoshop and now Video classes, which have really taken off. We’re big on DSLRs, too, a growing category where we feature Nikon, Canon and Sony models.
“Basically we come to CES and PMA to meet with vendors and try to find new niche products for our stores,” Pittman said. “For example, at the Tiffen booth we’ve been looking at Lowel lighting accessories and also checking out the new Domke bags, which still have that distinctive pro look but now incorporate contemporary compartment and organizing systems. Of course, we carry ProMaster tripods, filters, lens caps and remotes, but we’re always on the lookout for new stuff.
“In terms of cameras, we’re looking forward to seeing the Nikon D5200 and the latest mirrorless CSCs, including the Nikon 1 V2 and Sony NEX-6 that attract a younger demographic. DSLRs are still our strongest camera category, but we also do a good job with enthusiast-aimed models like the Canon G1 X.
“Trends? Video in DSLRs is coming on strong, and action cameras like the Contour are selling quite well to young, active lifestyle shooters like canoers, bike riders, skydivers and skateboarders. The more of those guys we can get into our stores, the better!”
Vice President, Paul’s Photo
Family-owned Paul’s Photo, established in 1961, is a medium-sized (3,500 square foot) single-location photo specialty retailer located in upscale Torrance, California, serving the greater Los Angeles area. Its customer base ranges from enthusiasts to family shooters and prosumers, and Paul’s is a leader in promoting photo classes and hands-on photo adventures.